After a modest bounce-back in stock markets Friday after the worst week since the financial crisis, Wall Street will be watching to see if that rebound can extend into the coming week.
Key to investor sentiment: any sign of movement on a deal out of Washington to infuse cash into the economy by offsetting lost wages for households and lost sales for businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The other big event of the week: The Federal Reserve's regularly scheduled two-day meeting. Traders are strongly betting the Fed will slash rates by as much as a full percentage point. That would come on top of an emergency half-point cut in early March. With rates already expected to head to zero, what is most crucial is what the Fed says about what it is prepared to do once that happens.
Wall Street will get an update on retail sales for February. Economists predict a smaller gain than the month before. Investors will be scouring the data for signs of how the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. impacted retail activity last month. Keep in mind, consumer spending is responsible for two-thirds of all economic activity.
The big earnings story to watch out for next week is FedEx. The economic bellwether is sure to add insight on how the global economy is faring under the weight of the pandemic. Shares of FedEx have lost a third of their value this year with package deliveries already hit by the U.S. trade war with China and the E.U.